Monday, December 31, 2007

Huckabee Would Criminalize Abortion Providers

This is why you don't want to elect anyone with a strong religious background, especially someone who professes his belief as part of his campaign to be President of the U.S.

I wonder how Huckabee feels about capital punishment?  Most evangelicals I know are pro-capital punishment - I thought the god of the Christians was a loving, compassionate, consistent god, not some whack-job who can't tell the difference between killing a human being (abortion) and killing a human being (capital punishment).  Then again, I'm not an evangelical Christian, so the mind of god is closed to me. Tags: ,,

Huckabee Would Criminalize Abortion Providers | The Trail |

Woman Escorted Off Fort Worth Transit Bus For Reading Bible Aloud

A woman on a bus in Fort Worth this past Sunday was asked to leave the bus for reading her Bible out loud to her children.  Apparently, it was bothering the driver, and she was then asked to either stop or leave.  When she wouldn't stop, she was asked to leave.

And shortly thereafter began the "Help!  Help!  I'm being persecuted!" cries that Christians are famous for.

This is the basic problem with all religions: they feel the need to loudly and publicly declare their faith, whether by reading a Bible out loud, wearing burkas or yamulkas or cruciforms, carrying prayer mats, etc., and then - and here's the problematic part - acting offended when other people ask them to be more private with their faith.

If I were a believer in Zeus and decided to publicly sacrifice a goat on an altar in a public park as part of my faith, I would be correctly either arrested for animal cruelty or at least questioned and challenged by not only authorities but passers-by as well.  (actually, I could be an adherent to the Old Testament as well with the same actions).  Why then do we not feel it proper or correct or acceptable to question and challenge Christians or Moslems or Jews on their public displays of faith?

I don't care that the woman reads the Bible - whatever fantasy gets her through the day is fine.  I have a problem with her inculcating this deviant fantasy in her children (yes, I think religious training for kids is a form of child abuse), but until we can have a frank and open and reasoned discussion over matters of faith, it's a moot point.  It's when her expression of faith begins to encroach upon my personal space that it becomes a problem.

If I were a passenger, I'd ask her to stop and if she didn't, I'd get off the bus - my problem, my solution (either that, or start reading aloud from some erotic novel as a counter-point fantasy).  The driver has no such recourse, so getting her off the bus is the only solution. - Woman Escorted Off Fort Worth Transit Bus For Reading Bible Aloud

Friday, December 07, 2007

Farkitrol® - It can help™ with Dangerous Playgrounditis.

From the folks who brought you - this is wonderful.  A pill for parent's to turn off the over-protective behavior.  My skinned knees are thankful this wasn't needed when I was a kid...

Farkitrol® - It can help™ with Dangerous Playgrounditis. Tags: ,,,,

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

MySpace hoax victim’s kin seek justice

And I don't blame her.  Read the story if you don't already know it - the basics are this: a 13 year old girl named Megan committed suicide last year because of cyber-bullying.  Seems she had a falling out with her friend, and her friend's mother (who I'll call Eva) set up an account for a fictional 16-year-old boy named Josh, who pretended to like Megan, then turned on her and started the bullying.  She suicided within six weeks of meeting Josh.

Some thoughts:

Why isn't this negligent homicide?  If I ran a long con on someone in real life and they died because of it, I'd be criminally liable, wouldn't I?  Why haven't the local authorities followed that line of reasoning?

Megan's parents won't ID the family because of the daughter - good thing, protecting minors like that, but when that zaftig little snowflake turns 18, I'd be blasting the mom's name from the rooftops, taking our full page ads in the New York Times denouncing her and her actions.  She's despicable, she's evil, and worse, she's remorseless.  She deserves the same in return.  And if you know this repugnant creature, do yourself and us a favor - turn your back on her.  Pray for a painful and slow death then dance on her grave when it takes her.  I almost wish Satan and Hell existed - she deserves both.

Lastly, more on Eva's behavior - if you feel the need to get involved in your kid's social struggles, do us all a favor and don't.  Kid fights are kid fights, and you getting involved does more damage than not.

UPDATE: The Smoking Gun has some police reports that ID the evil mother. tags: ,

MySpace hoax victim’s kin seek justice - TODAY: People -

Friday, November 09, 2007

Creationists object to evolution exhibit

Might as well object to gravity and the fusion temperature of hydrogen.  This is another reason why religion is evil.

I love Dr. Leakey's smack down at the end.

Creationists object to evolution exhibit

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

This is why I'm an Atheist

MSNBC reports on a lawsuit from the father of a fallen marine against Rev. Fred Phelps and his "God hates fags" Westboro Baptist Church.  Read the whole story, the disturbing part is at the bottom.

Remember folks, if you're Christian, Phelps and his followers are reading from the same Bible as you, whether you're a hippie love child or a conservative Catholic.  They obviously get something much different out of than anyone else does.

Remember, Phelps' church is called Westboro Baptist Church, not Extremist Homophobic Hate Crime Church, or Radically Fundamentalist Violence Breeding Church.  It's a normal Baptist church like any other - the next Fred Phelps could be sitting next to you in your First Baptist Church of Hometown, singing the same hymns you are, reading the same Bible you are, but getting a completely different picture than you.  And there's nothing you can do to stop him within that narrow framework.  And it really doesn't matter if we're talking flavors of Christianity with the Bible, or flavors of Islam with the Koran - the moderate stance taken by the majority of believers forms a breeding ground for the extremists like Phelps and bin Laden (and yes, they're the same breed of sub-human).

And this is a BIG part of why I'm an atheist. tags: , ,

Funeral war picketers lose verdict - Crime & Punishment -

Monday, October 15, 2007

» If kids don’t have electricity, will a laptop change their lives? | Education IT |

Interesting ZDNet article, which parrots one of the arguments my wife had over OLPC (One Laptop Per Child).  The basic question, as stated in the article title, is whether a laptop will make that big a difference in the hands of a child with no electricity.

Reading the comments, I came across a gem:

Kids in third world countries have already been robbed of their childhood. They face the harsh reality of survival and hunger...

This had to come from someone in the West, probably someone in the U.S.  The notion of someone being "robbed of their childhood" is a completely Western and completely modern notion.  Having a carefree childhood is a completely modern convenience, like a refrigerator and leisure time.  These kids haven't been robbed of anything - they never had a carefree childhood claim to begin with.  Even in the West, up until the early 20th century, children worked, sometimes right alongside their parents.  Some still do in non-Western countries.

Personally, I find the technological aspects of OLPC interesting, but the politics it spawns and the tripe dribbling from the mouth of neo-socialists who back the project is quite irritating.  I'm no advocating doing nothing - doing something to help is always better - but for the love of humanity, stop deluding yourself about it. tags: , , , ,

» If kids don’t have electricity, will a laptop change their lives? | Education IT |

Dispelling Transit Myths

There's a huge push in Seattle to pass Proposition 1 (anti web page here, pro web page here, raw text here).  The link below from the Cato Institute shows why light rail is a bad idea.  Personally, I dislike buses for various reasons, but I have to admit that they're better than trains for commuting distances with lots of people.  Of course, I hate taxes with a vengeance as well...

I'm voting no for the cost and inanity of it all.

Dispelling Transit Myths

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Court nixes suit claiming CIA torture - U.S. Security -

I'd be shocked, but after the Kelo decision, anything the SCUSA says is worth as little as anything coming out of the administration or the legislature. tags: , ,

Court nixes suit claiming CIA torture - U.S. Security -

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Secessionists Meeting in Tennessee | World Latest | Guardian Unlimited

Interesting - the Middlebury Institute. a secessionist group in Vermont , is meeting with the League of the South, a secessionist group from the south.  Kinda like the secessionist from the War of 1812 meeting with the secessionists from the War Between the States, one hundred and fifty years later...

The Free State Project comes to mind - too bad they weren't invited.

Farkers have some comments as well, and as usual, prove that an infinite number of monkeys don't know shit.

Secessionists Meeting in Tennessee | World Latest | Guardian Unlimited

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Part of Patriot Act ruled unconstitutional - U.S. Security -

Woo hoo!  One part down, all the other parts to go!

Part of Patriot Act ruled unconstitutional - U.S. Security -

Blind people say hybrid cars pose safety risk - Automotive -

Since I ride a motorcycle with loud pipes, I like this article - it supports my argument that loud pipes save lives, although the lives being saved in the article aren't the ones I was talking about.

There is one very disturbing passage in this article - when National Federation of the Blind President stated he'd like to see hybrids make a bit more noise so blind pedestrians can hear them, he received an email from an environmentalist.  The email suggested that NFB members should be the first to drown when seas levels rise due to global warming.

OK, here's the scoop - environmentalism isn't a science.  It isn't a philosophy.  It isn't even good sense anymore.  It's a fucking religion worshipped by whack jobs who can't see anything past the past 100 years of human history.  At least with normal religious nuts, we know where to find them every Sunday morning (or Wednesday evening, or Saturday, or five times daily).  If these are the types of people who we're saving the earth for, I'd rather let it die - maybe the next set of sentients on this planet will be better at weeding out the morons than we were.

Blind people say hybrid cars pose safety risk - Automotive -

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Phoenix - News - Dog Day Afternoon

It's been a while but I'm back - vacation and a lack of real news items kept me out of the loop.

Here's one about Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa County Sheriff who's a celebrity for keeping his prisoners in tent cities out in the Arizona sun.  For those of you who love his antics, try these on for size...

Phoenix - News - Dog Day Afternoon

Friday, July 27, 2007

Activists arrested in row over protest flag, allege abuse by Buncombe deputy

I'm not sure what I'm more upset about in this story...

A couple had a flag flying upside down, which signals distress, as a political statement.  So far, so good.  They're told by one sheriff they're fine, then get harassed by someone driving a vehicle with government plates and wearing fatigues.  Shortly thereafter, after making some changes, including adding some decorations to the flag, they're harassed by another deputy for alleged flag desecration.  Push comes to shove, and depending on who's story you believe, either the couple got violent or the deputy did.  In any case, they go to jail and the neighborhood is wondering what the hell just happened.

Here's what disturbs me:

North Carolina has a flag desecration law, even though the Supreme Court ruled a federal law unconstitutional.

A sheriff was willing to let a violent situation get out of control over a clear First Amendment issue.

There are still people in the world who think the Constitution is nice in theory but not in practice, and those people are willing to fight for this country (evidenced by the wearing of fatigues).

If you're not scared by chest-thumping "patriots" yet, you haven't been listening...

Flagged down: Activists arrested in row over protest flag, allege abuse by Buncombe deputy | Mountain Xpress News |

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

On Watch at Atomic History

A very well written story about Marines who were asked to watch nuclear bombs explode at close range by our government.

Remember, this is the evil of all government.

Life: atomic bomb, atomic blast, bomb testing - tags: , , ,

Norfolk and visitor with a holstered .45 are tangled in a Catch-22

From the Virginian-Pilot - a man attending a street fair in Norfolk were harassed by police for open-carrying.  When asked to disarm or leave, he protested saying there was a problem, whereupon he was arrested.  The DA declined to file charges, but the man is looking at a harassment case against the police.

Lesson?  Know your rights and stick to them, despite what the "authorities" tell you.

ARTICLE: Norfolk and visitor with a holstered .45 are tangled in a Catch-22 (The Virginian-Pilot -

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq

As someone on put it, Fifth Amendment, RIP 1787-2007.  Killed by George "What Constitution?" Bush and Dick "I don't see no Bill of Rights" Cheney.

Let's pick this apart a bit, shall we?

Basically, the order blocks the property and interest in property of anyone who is in or enters the U.S., if that person has engaged in violence to undermine the reconstruction of Iraq.  They can't bring it here, send it there, or do anything with any of their property (which is undefined in the document - are we talking real estate, business assets, the clothes on their backs?)

My second thought (after considering the demise of the Fifth Amendment) was: when do we block Bush's and Cheney's assets?  How about Haliburton shareholders assets?  Seems to me that the Bush Administration has been the biggest purveyor of violence aimed at destabilizing the economy and government of Iraq - somehow I don't think the administration seems it that way.

Anyway, on to the document: Section One defines the affected folks as those committing violence, those who help folks commit violence, and those who get something from those who commit violence.  Those people now have their property blocked.

Think of it this way - your cousin robs a liquor store completely  unbeknownst to you.  If he stops by to pay you back to $50 he borrowed, using the loot he stole; or you told him where a liquor store was because he asked, you're now just as guilty.  Well, maybe not just as guilty, but just as punished, according to this order - remember we did say the Fifth Amendment was dead, right?  Due process, freedom from self-incrimination, no taking private property - all fair game to be rescinded in the face of an endless war and a President with no principles.

Then there's Section Two, which basically says evading the prohibitions is prohibited, which is kinda like getting arrested for resisting arrest.  Conspiracy to evade is also prohibited - in other words, talking about how you might evade the prohibitions is prohibited.  But the First Amendment died years ago, so this is not as immediately tragic.

Section Five is also interesting - Bush has determined that his ability to enforce this is adversely affected if we tell people they're on the blocked list.  So that's the last of the Fifth Amendment and part of the Sixth gone as well - no grand jury presentment, and certainly no informing the accused of the nature of the offense or confronting them with witnesses or letting them mount a defense or summoning a jury.

And if that wasn't disturbing enough, Section Six gives presidential powers to the Secretaries of Treasury, State, and Defense when it comes to enforcing this.  Admittedly, they're part of the Executive Branch by fiat and precedent, but I haven't seen any of their signatures on key pieces of legislation, have you?  Constitutionally, I don't think they're entitled - but then again, that's why we have Executive Orders, ot get around pesky Constitutional issues like who can do what and when.

And finally, Section Eight says there's nothing you can do about it.  Read it closely - once you get through the modifiers and dependent clauses, it says the order doesn't create any right enforceable at law by any party against the U.S.  So there's the rest of the the First Amendment done, that whole pesky petition government for redress of greivances thing.  I'm thinking the only partial Amendment left is the freedom of religion portion of the First - as long as it's a Christian religions, and it has to be a religion, none of that new age crap or atheism treason.

If you're not disturbed by this administration yet, you haven't been listening.

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq tags: , , , ,

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Military support for the republican candidates » The Truth @ The Spin Factor

While I'm not a big fan of an active federally controlled military (the Constitution mandates funding a long-term Navy only), it was good to see lots of military folks supporting Ron Paul for President.  The blog article below shows the breakdown - an update to it shows more good numbers for Dr. Paul.

Military support for the republican candidates » The Truth @ The Spin Factor Tags: , , ,

Monday, July 16, 2007

Man-made island fit for a Bond villain up for sale - for £4 million | the Daily Mail

Interesting - part of a series of fortifications built in the 1860's off the coast of Portsmouth, UK, is up for sale.  If I had the scratch, I'd buy it, and here's why:

In the comments to the story, someone made reference to no more screeching tires, football hooliganism, etc.  Someone then referenced that the owner would not escape the poll tax.  Both missed three key points:

  1. The property is a mile from shore - there is no land assault possibility.
  2. The property is fortified - armored concrete built to withstand naval assault.
  3. The property had (or maybe has) room for 80 cannons and anti-aircraft weapons to help stave off air assault.

Add to that a fresh water supply from under the sea and your own generators for electricity, and you have a fortress the government cannot penetrate easily.  A few extra million will get you the defensive weapons you need to keep the tax man away for a while.

Man-made island fit for a Bond villain up for sale - for £4 million | the Daily Mail

Friday, July 13, 2007

Man Freed After Flag Desecration

Wow.  Just... wow.

There's a law in Florida, updated as late as 1970, the makes flag desecration a crime, and someone was actually arrested and kept in jail for a few days because of it.  It took the DA to say, "We're not pressing charges, let him go," to effect his release.  I guess no one in Florida since 1919 (when the law was written) has read the Constitution or understood the Freedom of Speech clause in the First Amendment.

One quote in this story got me:

Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said the arresting officer was not aware of the Supreme Court's decision.

So, a law enforcement officer was not aware of a decision that affects the laws he's supposed to enforce?  I could see that might be the case if this was some weird city or state code violation that was affected by an apparently unrelated Supreme Court ruling, but flag desecration has been a hot issue in this country since the 1989 SCOTA ruling - I cannot believe this officer didn't know about it.

Ironic though, isn't it - I find the folks who don't want you to wipe your ass with an American flag are those folks who support Bush & Co. wiping their asses on the Constitution?  Then again, on second thought, that's not ironic, that's simple logic...

Man Freed After Flag Desecration tags: , , ,

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bush admits administration leaked agent name

MSNBC's headline is a bit misleading - Bush didn't fully admit anything, but did say it was likely someone in his administration that leaked Valerie Plame's name.  However, the stickler for me is this:

President Bush on Thursday acknowledged publicly for the first time that someone in his administration likely leaked the name of a CIA operative, although he also said he hopes the controversy over his decision to spare prison for a former White House aide has "run its course."

"And now we're going to move on [emphasis mine]," Bush said in a White House news conference.

Any now we're going to move on?  What the fuck?  Bush admits someone in his administration likely committed a federal crime, and you just want to move on?  No - not yours.  Can you imagine any other citizen admitting to a crime, and then looking at the police and saying, "And now we're going to move on"?  How long do you think that would last?

I've heard it before, but I'll add my name to the list - this man needs to be impeached.  Once we figure out time travel, I'd support retroactively impeaching him in 2001.

Bush admits administration leaked agent name - Politics - tags: ,

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

AlterNet: Blogs: Video: Michael Moore Rips Wolf Blitzer on CNN: "Why Don't You Tell the American People the Truth" [VIDEO]

File this under "Know thy enemy, know thyself".

In case it's not painfully obvious, Michael Moore is a socialist who wants no part of a free America.

AlterNet: Blogs: Video: Michael Moore Rips Wolf Blitzer on CNN: "Why Don't You Tell the American People the Truth" [VIDEO]

Reason Magazine - Silence Is Golden

Nothing much else to add - Internet Radio is close to gone.  Guess I'll never discover any new music I like anymore...

Reason Magazine - Silence Is Golden

Saturday, July 07, 2007

New Hampshire Says No to Real ID Program

The NH legislature passed a state bill banning Real ID, and NH Governor John Lynch signed it - welcome to the club, guys.

Interestingly, the NH legislature called Real ID "contrary and repugnant" to the NH and U.S. Constitutions, which it is, certainly - however, it's ironic that they thought banning smoking in bars and restaurants was OK by the Constitution.

Let me be clear - I'm glad they took a stand against Real ID, but liberty minded folks don't need fair-weather Constitutionalists.  We need people who realize that principles aren't something you can ignore when the political wind blows counter to them, a costume you put on when you want to look like a principled decision maker.

So... the NH Legislature took a popular and newsworthy stand against the Real ID and cited the Constitution, and previously took a popular and newsworthy stand with a smoking ban and ignored the Constitution.  What do you think was the real motivation? tags: , , ,

Friday, July 06, 2007

U.S.Circuit Appeals Court throws out ACLU Challenge to Secret Spying program

Details at the link below, but here's my take:

If you can't show you're affected by the secret spying program, you have no standing to sue to find out if your affected by the secret spying program.

Folks, we had a revolution over less bullshiat than this.

How Appealing

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Sometimes being an American makes me ashamed

Apparently, seven in ten of you think the government should take care of people who can't take care of themselves.

If you're one of those seven: Do you even know what that would entail?  How do you define "take care of themselves"?  How do you provide to fund that entitlement?  Assuming I can take care of myself now, and that you have a plan that means I pay more taxes to make sure some needy folks have food and shelter - how long do you think I can hemorrhage money to take care of the needy before I become one of them?  And when I need to be on the dole myself, who the hell is going to pay for my necessities?

Here's an experiment I'd love to see someone try: start paying for a needy family right now - head down to a homeless shelter and pick someone or some family to help.  Even better, let's do this like government would - have someone else pick the person they think is most needy.  Then, give them them a place to stay, buy them groceries, add them to your health insurance, clothe them, and take care of their needs for a year or so, no strings attached, no demands, no nothing - just support from a concerned citizen.  You'll see that we don't a government program to help the needy - all we need is more brave new souls like you to step up and put your money where your mouth is.

Pew Research Center: Trends in Political Values and Core Attitudes: 1987-2007 tags: , ,

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Parasite Economy Latches onto New Host

This is a month-old commentary from Cato, but it's still current in geological time...  Basically, it laments the politicization of Google, comparing it to the politicization of Microsoft a few years ago.  It's a different view on the Google v. Microsoft battle you hear about amongst lawmakers, and it's dead on.

Parasite Economy Latches onto New Host tags: , ,

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Border fence accidentally built on Mexican soil

Yes, that's right - part of a fence between the U.S. and Mexico in 2000, designed to stop cars from driving into the U.S., and built by U.S. border officials, is actually in Mexico by some 2 meters (about 6 feet).  Doesn't seem like much, but ask yourself: what you would do if your neighbor put up a fence six feet onto your property?  How about six inches?  That's what Mexico is doing - asking for the fence to come down.

I saw an episode of Bullshit, a Showtime series hosted by Penn and Teller, where they talked about immigration, and the new fence the U.S. plans to build along the U.S.-Mexico border.  They hired some day laborers, headed out to the desert, and had them build a portion of the fence to spec.  That evening, when they were done building the fence, the day laborers were asked to get past the fence as if they were illegally trying to enter the U.S., which they did.  In a few minutes (something like three, if I remember correctly).  To state it slightly differently:

The fence the U.S. plans to build to stop illegal Mexican immigration will slow down illegal immigration by roughly three minutes.

Hardly worth the billions we're going to spend, is it?

CANOE -- CNEWS - World: Border fence accidentally built on Mexican soil

Friday, June 29, 2007

How to kill Capitalism, Step One

Threaten fines on kids selling water on the street.

Yes, that's right - kids acting as entrepreneurs are being threatened with fines for selling water to passing motorists.

Milwaukee officials claim they're concerned about the kids' safety, but I'm thinking that's the concern of the parents, not the government.  One parent in the story actually acted responsibly, keeping his kid safe - good for him.  The rest of the parents should take a lesson here.

And remember folks - you get the government you deserve.

Winona Daily News - 6.0 tags: ,

City May Seek Permit and Insurance for Many Kinds of Public Photography - New York Times

Yes, that's an actual headline - New York City is considering making it mandatory to get a city license and carry $1 million in insurance if you're a party of two or more taking pictures or filming in one public location for more than 30 minutes, or using a tripod for more than 10 minutes.  They say it won't be used to harass tourists or families, but the language of the regulation is broad enough that it may.  The NY ACLU chapter is fighting it - good for them.

City May Seek Permit and Insurance for Many Kinds of Public Photography - New York Times

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Virginia Introduces $3550 Speeding Ticket

Don't speed in Virginia.  At least, not if your a Virginia resident - not sure how the state will tax out of state offenders, but I doubt lawmakers thought that far ahead... 

Virginia Introduces $3550 Speeding Ticket tags: , ,

Government figures 'missing' two million violent crimes - Independent Online Edition > Crime

And what have we learned?   First, the government is not to be trusted.  Second, when you're in close with someone you don't trust, make sure you're as well armed as they are.  Too bad the U.K. banned all guns a few years ago - maybe those violent crime numbers wouldn't be off by a factor of 82%.

Government figures 'missing' two million violent crimes - Independent Online Edition > Crime

Denver - News - Ladies’ Nights, RIP

Wow, this is a real problem - apparently, having solved all other problems, the Denver City Council decided to do away with Ladies Nights.  In other words, if you want to increase the folks who come to your establishment by letting ladies get in free, or offering them free drinks, you're now breaking the law.

The one thing that was never stated is why Steve Horner, the man who started all this, actually started it all.  They've got some quote from him equating feminism to Marxism, but no real explanation why he would take this as his pet project.  I'd personally like to here that.

Don't get me wrong, I don't agree with him at all - a business can use whatever means necessary to attract customers (short of actual assault and murder, of course).  Happy hours, ladies nights, wet t-shirt contests, etc - it's all good, and if customers don't like it, then they can vote with their pocketbooks.

Still, I want to know what makes Horner think he's the moral and ethical champion for Denver.  Sun Tzu and all that, you know.

Denver - News - Ladies’ Nights, RIP Tags: , ,

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What a brilliant concept!

It's not exactly liberty related, but this is number two on my list of pet peeves while driving (for the record, number one is failing to use your turn signal).

The only problem?  Flashing your bright lights at people is, at least to me, the universally recognized sign for move right.  Too bad we need to spell it out for some folks.

One man's message to left-lane slow pokes | More Washington News | | News for Seattle, Washington tags: ,

New respect for MSNBC anchor

Check out this MSNBC video.  I have never seen this show, never heard of Mika Brzezinski, but I have respect for her as a journalist.

Note, this respect begins and ends at Mika.  I see MSNBC website still shows Paris Hilton as their lead story - too bad there are more Mika's at MSNBC.

The good news?  MSNBC is now one journalist better than CNN. tags: , ,

Monday, June 25, 2007

Execution of convicted killer being investigated - Crime & Punishment -

On the other hand, I know exactly how I feel about this:

Killing another human being is wrong.  Period.

No, I don't care that you've killed another human being because he killed another human being, because killing another human being is wrong.

No, I don't care that he went through the system - the system is created by humans, who are fallible.  Therefore, the system is fallible, and mistakes can be made (which is what fallible means).  Death is not undoable, and therefore a mistake leading to death cannot be corrected.  Besides, killing another human being is wrong.

Clear?  Clear.

Execution of convicted killer being investigated - Crime & Punishment -

New law puts U.S. flag, federal documents on display in every classroom

Wow, I'm not sure how I feel about this.  On one hand, I don't think force or legislation is the answer to any problem, but the cause of more.  On the other hand, how is having the Constitution and Bill of Rights available in a classroom anything but good?  I'm hoping some student will read it and have these same kinds of doubts and thoughts - maybe a classroom discussion will be started and then quickly clamped down by an overzealous teacher, but at least the seed is there.

I'm hoping those of you who homeschool have the Constitution available to your kids - if not, head to the Cato Institute to get a copy sent to you.

New law puts U.S. flag, federal documents on display in every classroom

UK Gov boots intelligent design back into 'religious' margins | The Register

For as much as I hate socialized medicine and cameras on every flipping street corner, the British have it right this time - there is no place in scientific discourse for creationism.  If it can't stand up to the scientific method, it's not science, and I've yet to meet a religion that can.

UK Gov boots intelligent design back into 'religious' margins | The Register tags: , ,

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Just in case I was unclear before...

This is yet another reason to do away with public schools.

In Buffalo, when you, as a parent, are delinquent in paying your child's lunch debt, the school district takes it out on your kid.  All that sins of the father crap, I guess, although they do find it works.  But of course it does - ask any parent who's bought their kid some useless piece of crap hawked on TV how loud and whiny they can get when peer-pressure isolates them as cast-outs.  And then ask them what the problem is, and none of them will say, "the forced socialization of our children into artificially constructed societies administered by government agents."

The Buffalo News: National tags: ,

Friday, June 22, 2007

Your education dollars at work

Well, if you live in New Jersey, this is what your school dollars buy you - yearbooks filled with pictures of kids kissing, and school administrators deciding which pictures of kids kissing are appropriate or not.

One student bought a page in the yearbook for $150, and filled it with pictures of him and his boyfriend (yes, they're gay).  One of those pictures were of the two of them kissing.  Newark Superintendent of Schools decided it was inappropriate, and had the offending picture (only one) blacked out with magic markers.

Now, a few thoughts.  First, if you don't want your kids being exposed to homosexual lifestyles, why are they still enrolled in New Jersey schools?  Obviously, they support homosexuality - only one kissing picture was blacked out, and the couple was known and open as a homosexual couple.

Second, if you think government has no place in discriminating against homosexual couples (only their picture was blacked out - other heterosexual kissing pics remained intact), why are your kids still in New Jersey schools?  Apparently, they apply capricious and indecipherable criteria when figuring out what goes in and stays out of their yearbooks.

Third, if you think school is the wrong place for kids to be exposed to, supported in, and given a place to explore their sexual natures, why are your kids still in New Jersey schools?  Openly homosexual couples, heterosexual kissing pictures in the yearbook - are your kids learning the
three 'R's, or are they learning how to breed?

Fourth, is anyone disturbed that kids can buy pages in the yearbook for $150?  I was never able to do that - student photographers took candid pictures throughout the year, which were selected and used to fill in the normal club and other pictures.  I can see that offering spaces for sale to students would help defeat the popularity issues that crop up, but I think it just discriminates against both the unpopular and the poor.

I don't care which argument jives with you - pick one, and get your kids out of public schools.

Breaking News From New Jersey:

Great Liberty Posters!

Head over to Darren Worden's web site and check out his Pompous and Powned pages - propagana posters for the police state.  Great stuff, and free to use as you see fit. tags: , , ,

Preaching the Religion of Green via Newsweek

You know, I always had an impression of Newsweek as being slightly less "newsy" than U.S. News and World Report, but better than "Time" at being non-knee jerky.  Apparently I was wrong, and apparently Karen Breslau, a Newsweek reporter, doesn't know how to conduct an unbiased interview.  Her second question turned me off, and I stopped reading the article.

Q&A: SF Mayor's Battle Against Water Bottles - Newsweek: Project Green -

Of course, California is nucking futs, and San Francisco is leading the charge, but it's just too much to see Newsweek coddling to the Religion of Green.

UPDATE: Read the comments about this story on Fark - I love one close to the bottom:

I remember when the plastic bags were the eco choice. Use plastic save a tree! Now its F%ck those carbon whore trees, no blood for petroleum based plastics!

Which is 99.9% of reason why Green isn't a science, it's a religion, no more or less intrusive or overbearing or intolerant or militaristic than Christianity or Islam or Judaism. tags: , , ,

Thursday, May 31, 2007

NH to ban smoking in bars, restaurants -

The Free State Project was too little, too late to stop this one.  As one person on Fark.Com said, this is how freedom will die, to a round of applause. tags: , ,

Link to NH to ban smoking in bars, restaurants -

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Straight Dope Staff Report: Why are the bees disappearing?

Reason #2 to turn off your TV when the news comes on (reason #1 is that it's 90% indistinguishable from American Idol), and reason #1 to read stories from various sources and do your own research. tags: ,

Link to Straight Dope Staff Report: Why are the bees disappearing?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

All Things Conservative: GOP Debate Play-By-Play

Comments from another blog on the GOP presidential debate.  Predictably, the blogger thought Ron Paul sounded like a Democrat - ask a Democrat, and Ron Paul will sound like a Republican.  That's because Democrats and Republicans sound alike, and when they hear something different, they can only blame the other side of their single coin...

One comment I have on this blog:

Tom Tancredo made one of the most memorable, and true, statements of the night when talking about the war on terror.  He said that our enemies will attack us even if we leave the Middle East or stop supporting Israel because it's a "dictate of their religion";  very true, too bad more politicians don't have the sand to admit it.

Is Tom Tancredo a theologist?  How does he know so much about Islam that has eluded everyone else?  I think he's like every Republican since Lincoln - a consummate politician who doesn't care a whit about anything other than being in power, and will therefore say whatever the sheeple will like so he can get there.

The rest of the blog (go ahead and read it) is typical right-wing republican tripe.  If I hear Republicans talk about how much Democrats spend when Bush Sr. and Jr. were the worst fucking spending presidents in history, I'll puke.

Link to All Things Conservative: GOP Debate Play-By-Play tags: ,

Monday, May 14, 2007

N.H. finds voluntary vaccination works

And the only reason I don't move to New Hampshire with the rest of porcupines is because my family lives there.

Link to N.H. finds voluntary vaccination works tags: , ,

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Welcome to Third-World, aka the U.S.A.

You are now a member of a military dictatorship, at least if you live and claim citizenship in the U.S.  That's because, back in October 2006, the Defense Authorization Act gave the president the power to declare martial law basically whenever he likes.  The law states the conditions under which the president may declare martial law, and the last condition on the list is "other conditions".  In other words, whenever he feels like it.

An editorial in the New York Times gives you the big picture - commentary from James Bovard from American Conservative and Justin Raimondo from provides the color commentary on the demise of your democracy.  My info comes from the Advocates for Self-Government - the story link is below.

And when you're done being outraged, contact your U.S. Senators and ask them to support Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Christopher Bond (R-MO) in their efforts to get Senate Bill 513 passed, as well as the House bill H.R. 869.

And make sure your fellow voters in Michigan, Virginia, Massachusetts, and California know that Senators Carl Levin (D-MI), John Warner (R-VA), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), and Duncan Hunter (R-CA) either wrote the provision themselves, or personally endorsed it.  These four men are guilty of handing your liberty over to the current sitting president.

Link to Liberator Online - May 3, 2007

Wednesday, May 02, 2007 Teen punished over violent video game

Get your kids out of public schools NOW.  I mean it - this is the type of racist stereotyping that passes for responsible school administration these days.  Your kids are being brainwashed into thinking about the moment, not contemplating long term consequences to their actions.

The administrators who executed this knee-jerk blasphemy should be taken out and re-educated themselves. 

And the parents of Jordan Schlafer should inform their dear young daughter that, somewhere in the records of City Hall, available for anyone to ask for, see, and copy, are the blueprints of her precious little school, part of the public record.  Also inform your little genius that anyone can see a detailed overhead view of her school on Google Maps or Live Maps.  Anyone can even see it in 3D view from any cardinal point, and draw it to scale on their own.  Then, if she's not scared enough, tell her anyone can do the same thing for her house.

Then tell her to stop being a scared little sheep and teach her think.

Link to Teen punished over violent video game tags: ,

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Interesting Wall Street Journal OpEd

Very interesting opinion, one I agree with completely.  While I've tried to ignore everything I could about the Virginia Tech story, this one crept in - glad it did.  I was tired of ignoring all the other media bullshit about it.

Link to OpinionJournal - Featured Article tags: , ,

Friday, April 13, 2007

Burlingame schools pull 8th-grade book from class

Kurt Vonnegut died on Wednesday.  And so it goes...

If it's not already abundantly clear, get your kids out of a public schools, or you'll have someone else making decisions about what and how they learn.

Link to Burlingame schools pull 8th-grade book from class tags: , ,

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Will Vermont Secede from the Union?

Ignore the fact that the story comes from AlterNet, which appears to be more left that Castro.  Ignore the comments from the sheeple at the bottom - as long as they continue to get their weekly dose of American Idol, they don't care what else happens.  Read the story.

Then, realize that Vermont wants to be free, and the Free State Project is moving to New Hapmshire, right next door.  How long before they join forces?

Link to AlterNet: Will Vermont Secede from the Union? tags: ,

Monday, April 02, 2007

IBM Gives Feds $45M in Translation Tech

OK, this is now officially out of hand - IBM is donating software and devices to troops in Iraq because one of their salesmen's sons was maimed while over there protecting American interests (read: Bush's lies).  Apparently, if you work for IBM and sacrifice your own blood, the company matches your donation with software.

According to one source, this donation will "accelerate the war effort", and some daft bitch in IBM's federal sales division wants other government vendors to consider "similar donations".

Well, how about non-government vendors then?  Can we persuade the Chris Craft company to send over a few hundred thousand yachts so our troops can evacuate the fucking area?  How about some publishing companies to air-drop a few hundred thousand translated copies of "The Fountainhead" (with a specially signed copy for President Bush)?

The fact that the government is checking to see if this is actually legal is actually funny - when, during this entire Iraq/al Qaeda/Guantanamo affair, has the government worried about being legal?  I'm surprised Gonzales hasn't rubber stamped it already, and wrapped in the 5th Amendment before delivering it to Bush.  They're not worried about the legality of accepting - they're worried that if they accept and the conflict drags on a lot longer, someone will start asking, "Hey, what about that translation stuff IBM gave us?".  Or maybe that question will be asked by the troops in a year when they're still waiting for the DoD to deliver the devices...

IBM wants to help the situation?  Stop helping government.  They can fuck our world up just fine without your donations.

Link to IBM Gives Feds $45M in Translation Tech tags: ,

Thursday, March 22, 2007

`Nanny' Laws Are Added to the Books -

Just a compilation of nanny laws coming your way.  Hope you don't get pulled over eating a donut on a metal bat while texting your friend in a child-seat of a car while smoking....

Link to `Nanny' Laws Are Added to the Books - tags: ,

Judge throws out Internet blocking law

Good news for the online world - a federal court threw out the COPA bill (Child Online Protection Act).  I love this quote from Senior U.S. District judge Lowell Reed Jr.:

Perhaps we do the minors of this country harm if First Amendment protections, which they will with age inherit fully, are chipped away in the name of their protection.

Brilliant.  Absolutely brilliant.  It's refreshing to see this kind of thinking in a government official - kinda makes you wonder, though...

Compare this enlightened view from an appointed official to those of your elected officials.  I'm not in favor of appointing rulers, mind you, but someone who can think for themselves is a breath of fresh air in government.

Link to Judge throws out Internet blocking law - Security - tags: , , ,

Homeowner Upset Police Used House For Training - Yahoo! News

And here's a reason to boycott America - at least in London , they only watch what you do with your property.  Here in America, with the Kelo v. New London decision, local government can do what they will with your property whenever they want.

Link to Homeowner Upset Police Used House For Training - Yahoo! News tags: , ,

The Slippery Slope Spotted in the Wild

Civil libertarians should be boycotting England, or London at least, for this one.  The same camera technology that I've heard praised for reducing crime and leading to their peaceful way of life is now being used to turn more Londoners into "enviro-criminals", whatever the hell that means.  This is the slippery slope libertarians talk about all the time.

And this is the reason why, as much as I like Europe in general, I would never ever live there.

Link to The Sun Online - News: Spies to bug our baked beans tags: , , , ,

Friday, March 09, 2007

Court overturns D.C. handgun ban - U.S. Life -

This is good news indeed, although there's a catch at the bottom of the article - I'll admit, I hadn't thought of this aspect of gun registration, but there it is:

...gun registration to provide the government with information about how many people would be armed if militia service was required...

Of course, militia service will never be required - as long as the government can instate a draft and provide guns to their conscriptees, armed citizens will never be called up.  Too bad - that's the way it should happen.  Wish I trusted my government enough to register a firearm with them.

Link to Court overturns D.C. handgun ban - U.S. Life -

Kroger: No Refusing Morning-After Pill

I'm not sure why this was on PhysOrg, but there it is.  This isn't the real story, though - the real story is why Kroger has to take this action.

If your religious beliefs get in the way of doing your job, may I suggest you find a different job?  In fact, I demand you find a different job, preferably one where you don't have contact with people who don't share your silly beliefs.

And no, I don't care what your particular beliefs are - the second they get in the way of someone else living their life as they see fit, your beliefs are now instruments of repression.

And no, I don't care if you believe your intentions are good and that what you're trying to do is protect innocent life - the ends never justify the means.

Quite simply, if the only way you can express your beliefs is by forcibly preventing others from acting in ways inconsistent with your beliefs, you're no longer a simple harmless Christian living according to your faith...

You are evil.

Link to Kroger: No Refusing Morning-After Pill tags: , ,

Monday, March 05, 2007

Help us spot terrorists - Police - News - Manchester Evening News

Don't go to Manchester, England.  Or if you must, make sure you:

  • Tell everyone exactly where you're going at all times.
  • Try not to make car rental agents suspicious (no word on how not to do that)
  • Don't pay cash for anything, especially short-term rental on a room (or possible car rentals)

Remember folks, the citizens of Manchester have been told by their police chief that they don't have to be sure, just suspicious.  No word on whether being paranoid, xenophobic, or simply racist count as well.

And for those of you in U.S. wondering what the big deal is, here it is: I've been assured on numerous occasions by an American friend who lived in England for many years that British policemen are rarely to never questioned as to their authority to ask you do anything.  The average British citizen walks the streets ignorant of their rights and emasculated in their power to resist unjust flexing of police muscle.  In other words, what Americans look at as simply a police force being silly and stupidly paranoid may come off in England as a stern warning, almost a command, to be vigilant.

For those of you in Manchester, I'm sorry - you can leave, if you'd like. 

Link to Help us spot terrorists - Police - News - Manchester Evening News

Monday, February 26, 2007

Vigilante Hacker's Evidence Puts Judge Behind Bars - Technology News by InformationWeek

Read the story, but here's a short summary: A judge in Cali was sentenced for possession of child pornography.  The prime mover in this case was a hacker who let loose a Trojan on the judge's computers and found the evidence that was used to garner the guilty plea.

I'm not sure whether to be scared or not here.  Vigilantes with time on their hands, an axe to grind, and some coding skills rooting around in my machine for contraband?  While I agree that the hacker was not acting on behalf of the government and therefore did not violate the Fourth Amendment, that line can get really blurry really quick.  Let's say the evidence found pointed to a victimless crime (drug usage, prostitution, etc), something that is defined as illegal, but has no victim other than the amorphous "society".  At what point can any hacker-vigilante say he's not an agent of the government?  If you drink the government Kool-Aid, decide to be a vigilante P-I, and follow only your muse to the criminals that turn you on, the only thing missing from a Fourth Amendment violation is a prior government blessing.

And by not prosecuting the hacker (they've already found and ID'd him - Brian Willman in Canada), they're setting a very bad precedent.  As mentioned in the article, the tacit approval given opens the door for anyone to do the same thing for any reason as long as the evidence found leads to a conviction.  And while a U.S. Attorney has admonished people with a variation of "Don't try this at home, kids", that carries zero weight - we've already erased the old line and now have to figure out where to draw it again.  Until the new line is drawn, there will be people trying to push it further and further away from due process and privacy concerns, and closer to a Machiavellian "ends-justifies-the-means" interpretation of illegal activity.

Brad Willman, the hacker in this case, needs to be brought up on charges - let him argue and negotiate and plea-bargain, but he needs to be charged and go through the process he set the judge up for.  We go after hackers and pirates in other countries all the time - why can't we go to Canada to get this guy?  And no, I don't care that he did us all a service (I agree he did, but that's not the point) - the next guy caught in this kind of net may be only a political subversive, or maybe just unpopular.  Why does Willman get to decide who has fingers pointed at them?

And in case you're still on the fence, let me pose the question differently - what if Willman had broken into your home, rummaged around while you weren't home looking for "contraband", and then setup hidden cameras so he could do so whenever he wanted to?  His Trojan did exactly that in the judge's computer.  Now ask yourself if you want your busy-body neighbor to be able to do the same, and it's all OK as long as they find something to charge you with.

OK, now I'm scared.

Link to Vigilante Hacker's Evidence Puts Judge Behind Bars - Technology News by InformationWeek

Friday, February 23, 2007

White House opposes war authority limits - Politics -

I'll have more to say on this later - gut reaction is that everyone wants power, red or blue, and neither side will give it up willingly.

Link to White House opposes war authority limits - Politics -

UPDATE: OK, I lied here - I don't have much more to say.  It's a power stuggle, plain and simple, and should have a net result of zero on the rank and file soldier in Iraq.

Disturbing state lawmaking news

I'll comment more later, but here's some disturbing state lawmaking news.

Arizona Lawmaker Tries To Ban Naked Lady Mudflaps

No Bull: Lawmaker Wants Testicles Tossed

UPDATE: OK, both of these should be filed in the "all-other-more-important-problems-solved" department.

Rep. Ed Ableser in Arizona is the worst kind of politician - a busy-body who wants all of America to be as clean and sanitized as the Hallmark channel.  One of his supporters, Rep. Theresa Ulmer, obviously needs to take her son to a doctor, as he's either mentally retarded or partially deaf if she continually needs to explain the difference between idealized art and reality.  Has her son never seen a Barbie doll?  Why doesn't that idealized depiction of female anatomy confuse him.  And if it does confuse him, shall we try to pass a law banning them too, or just force stores to put them behind the counter next to the lighter fluid and cold medicine?

As for the bull balls story, Maryland State Delegate LeRoy Myers is a coward, hiding behind the standard statist shield of "we're protecting hte children".  How does Delegate Myers propose to keep children from seeing real animal testicles, say, on an un-neutered dog walking down the street?  There's an age at which kids don't need a full and complete explanation - a simple "they're decoration" should work on most any kid under 10.  I'll leave the explanation for kids over 10 as an exercise to the parent.

For both of these stories, take one lesson - life cannot be sanitized to protect anyone, especially your children.  You can either lock your kids in a Skinner box to keep them safe, or prepare them for life in the real world.  The loss of innocence is tragic, true, but necessary, and you as the parent have to be in control.  In other words: grow up, so your kids can too. tags: ,

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Darkness Falls

We've all heard about the overreaction of the city of Boston to a guerilla marketing campaign for a cartoon show.  Today, we learn that the head of Cartoon Network is resigning over it.  And today, I'm going to comment on it.

Boston should slip into the sea.  Cleanse the idiocy with cold salt water and lobsters.  I'm sorry to say I lived there for a time, went to school there for a time, and enjoyed it - I'll certainly never go back now.

What happened to our collective common sense, people?  Ever since 9/11, were' so afraid of our own shadows that anyone walking down the street with a boxcutter in his back pocket, or two turbaned and robed men talking to one another quietly in the subway, or a Lite Brite on a street corner, is now considered a terrorist threat that demands some sort of response.  I guess we're lucky that the response was just a bunch of paranoid morons calling the authorities, and not some whack-job rounding up a vigilante posse.  Funny, I don't feel lucky - I feel dirty.

Turner Broadcasting, owner of Cartoon Network, apologized and has paid US$2 million to Boston to compensate them for the emergency response they took.  I'm sorry, but if I overreact to a situation and incur personal costs, why should anyone else but me be responsible for my actions?  Oh, that's right, I forgot - this is the New America, where personal responsibility is neither taught nor practiced.  Those few of us with this rare commodity are sitting back, shaking our heads, and wondering where the hell our country got off to.

Our elected leaders have paid lip service for five years that we should not lose the American Way of Life (tm) because of terrorism.  All this time, however, the American Way of Life has been slowly slipping away, slowly boiling to death like a frog in a pot of cool water over a Bunsen burner, as we submit to random searches and pat down on subways, invasive searches of our bags and limits on our speech as we try to board airplanes, and compilation of our personal data into lists that tell us where and how we can't travel.  We've lost our common sense to fear-based irrationality wrapped in the blanket of "security concerns".  We've lost our rational thought and replaced with jingoism.  We've lost our sense of humour and replaced it with self-importance as a cog in the great machine.

In my opinion, the head of Cartoon Network should still be in his role, and the head of Turner Broadcasting shouldn't be writing checks.  They should both be looking at the knee-jerkers and bureaucrats in Boston and asking them, "Why is your stupidity our problem?  Why should we pay for your actions?  Stupidity should be painful - more correctly, your stupidity should be painful to you."  And the people of Boston should be looking hard and asking hard questions at these mental midgets come next election day.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

New York, The Nanny State (East)

New York State Senator Carl Kruger is planning to propose legislation that would make it illegal to cross the street in New York City and Buffalo while using an electronic device, like a cell phone, Blackberry, iPod, or Zune.  Apparently, Sen. Kruger is very concerned that two recent fatal accidents involving people in his district who were using said devices are an epidemic and needs some sort of government response.  No word on whether his district (District 27 in Brooklyn) has been gerrymandered to include Buffalo.

For a sensible alternative, check out the Nanny State from the Cato Institute.  And while your at it, take a look at some of the legislation Sen. Kruger is working on...  An informed citizen is a politician's worst nightmare.

And if you live in Sen. Kruger's district, use your feet, go to a poll next election day, and send him a message that he's not your freaking mother, you're a responsible adult, you resent being treated like a pre-schooler, and he can stay out out of your personal life as you vote him out of the public life, thankyouverymuch.

Just for kicks, ride the bike you work on to the voting booth, and make sure you carry a boxcutter and a copy of the Constitution with you (highlight the Second, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments).

Ad hominem comments follow: Doesn't the phrase "plans to propose legislation" make your butt pucker?

New York and Masschussetts are now, officially, the East Coast cells of the Soviet State of California.  Remember folks, when the pain of the Nanny State spanking your ass gets too much, the porcupines are moving to New Hampshire.

UPDATE: ECanadaNow is reporting that three Brooklyn-ites were killed crossing the street with iPods, not one in Brooklyn and one in Buffalo as reported by WNBC.  Not sure who to believe or listen to, but now I'm wondering if Kruger will start handing out $100 fines for running with scissors or swimming within 30 minutes of eating as well...

UPDATE #2: Reuters has the story now, along with some more "nanny state" quotes from Comrade Senator Kruger:

Government has an obligation to protect its citizenry

Maybe in New York, it does, but in America as a whole, the Preamble to the Constitution defines what government should do - protecting its citizenry isn't one of those things.

It's becoming a nationwide problem.

This electronic gadgetry is ... becoming ... endemic...

Endemic?  Nationwide problem?  Where are the scores of reports of others suffering as three Brooklynites have?  I haven't seen them - tell me, if this is such an endemic problem, Senator, are there more people dying from other problems in Brooklyn, or is this numero uno on the list?

Then there's the problem I have with the sympathetic Reuters reporter, who is uncreditted in this story - this paragraph is editorializing, not reporting (emphasis mine).

Tech-consuming New Yorkers trudge to work on sidewalks and subways like an army of drones, appearing to talk to themselves on wireless devices or swaying to seemingly silent tunes.

If he was the only reporter to bias his reporting, it wouldn't be an issue, but he and the Senator are just two examples of an endemic nationwide problem.

Friday, February 02, 2007

New Toyota Commercials - WTF?

I wasn't sure where else to put this idea, but I've been really pissed at the new Toyota commercials.  Despite the fact that I'll most likely never buy a Toyota for my own use (my daughter has one I bought her when she graduated high school), these commercials ensure that I'll never buy one for anyone.

The commercials start innocuous enough - a few pics of scenery and people enjoying themselves, with a song-over with the lyrics, "This is the place I want to live... And the

way I want to drive..."  I can only presume they're tailored for different parts of the country - I live in Seattle, so it's tailored for the Pacific Northwest.

Anyway, after the song lyric, a voice-over comes on, in a gentle masculine voice, "There's something special about this part of the country," followed by different phrases, such as, "we care about the environment," and, "we care about family values."


My first response to these was simple: Unlike those yahoo's in Montana.

Really, think about it - as if people in other parts of the country don't care about the environment, or have family values, or can respond to jingoistic marketing catch-phrases.  Give me a break.

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Do you know the primary way you can tell if someone is a responsible adult?  Watch them drive.  If they drive responsibly (in other words, with purpose, on purpose, and predictably), most likely they act responsibly as well.  Case in point - one small episode from one day of my morning commute this week.

Normally, I ride a motorcycle - a 1996 Harley Davidson Dyna Wide Glide to me exact.  However, since the wind storm and freak snow storms Washington had since December, I've been driving my 2003 Mercury Sable to work.  This necessitates a change in my route, and my introduction to non-HOV travel on our fine state highways.

I found myself behind a large SUV on the I-90 floating bridge.  The time was about 8:30am, and we were heading east into the sun.  the sun wasn't too high, but it wasn't that low either - I personally had no problems seeing (at least seeing the SUV, but that's another rant).

The driver in the SUV, however, was having no end of trouble, from what I could see - first the left hand came up to shield their eyes, then the right (apparently, they got tired easily).  At one point, I thought the driver had their eyes closed and head down to avoid the bright light - from the movements the SUV was making, it appeared that way.  The SUV finally moved out of the left hand lane into the center lane, and I passed on the right.

When I did, I looked over to see who was driving - it turned out to be a very small woman.  Her head topped out at only halfway up the window, just about over the steering wheel.  Even with the visor down the she sat so low in the vehicle, the sun had no choice but to hit her in the eyes.

And here's where the responsibility comes in - don't buy a vehicle that's too big for you.  If you pull the visor down and sun still hits you in the eyes, either buy some sunglasses or drive a freakin' Miata.  I'm tired of the desire for a big expensive status symbol outweighing the need to act responsibly.  Sure, you can buy it, but if you can't drive it, you're no longer an important person - now you're one overcorrection away from being the "earlier accident that has traffic snarled."

Yes, I hate SUV's.  And No, there oughtn't be a law against them.

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